About German Spirits

The spirits industry is a strong and varied one in Germany. Most famous are the brandies and eau-de-vie, made from fruits such as cherry, pear and apple. The term schnapps can refer to an eau-de-vie or it can simply mean a strong alcoholic drink.

There are also vodkas (flavored and unflavored), London-style gins and whiskeys produced in Germany. Most are consumed locally; few are exported outside Europe.
Top Picks for Germany
Elephant Gin
Elephant Strength Gin
Clear color. Vegetal, spicy aromas of zucchini, steak seasoning, rose sachet and basil, and apple jacks and anise with a round, lively, fruity sweet medium body and a peppery, amusing, medium-length sweet lemon blossom, grilled nectarine, mint cream, and lilac water finish. A vibrant, very well-balanced over-proof gin that is surprisingly smooth, even neat.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Brown color. Lively, minty, medicinal aromas of salty roasted walnuts, anise, and molasses spice cookie with a glycerous, bright, sour medium body and a warming, complex, long gingerbread, mincemeat, sarsaparilla, and peppery spices finish. A delicious, dangerous drinkable and balanced herbal liqueur.
96 points $24.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Icemint Schnapps
Clear color. Rich aromas and flavors of peppermint patty with a glycerous, vibrant, medium-to-full body and a warming, interesting, long finish with notes of peppermint oil, mineral, and menthol mint. A bold, clean peppermint liqueur with excellent style and cooling, penetrating mintiness.
96 points $26.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
The Bitter Truth
Drops & Dashes Roots Bitters
Tasted as a Old Fashioned cocktail. Golden amber color. Aromas and flavors of toffee, orange-peach chutney, and fig bread with a round, tangy, fruity sweet medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, long creme brulee, brown spices, and leather finish. In an Old Fashioned these bitters dovetail completely and add dried fig, licorice and spice notes to compliment the cocktail.
94 points $18 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Elephant Gin
London Dry Gin
Clear color. Lively, green, herbal complex aromas and flavors of lemon grass and coriander, menthol mint, dried citrus and berries, and cola with an oily, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, long resinous juniper, sweet and peppery spices, creamy berry bread pudding, and dried flower and chalk finish. A vivacious, multilayered gin with a great range and integration of flavors.
94 points $37.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Magic Crystal
Premium Vodka
Clear color. Faint, clean aromas of shredded wheat, date pastry, and table cracker with a satiny, soft, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long citrus meringue, minerals, and pink pepper finish. A pure, delicious, creamy textured vodka that is sure to please.
94 points $23.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
The Bitter Truth
Cucumber Bitters
Tasted as a Pisco Sour cocktail. Golden amber color. Peppery, earthy fruity curious aromas of marinated cucumbers, cracked pepper, and fleur de sel with a body and a cucumber slices and squash finish. The cucumber flavor of this bitter meshes nicely with the floral notes of the pisco in the pisco sour and add a nice layer of spice giving a creamy meringue like effect.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Clear color. Delicate, attractive aromas and flavors of spiced pears and baked apple with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium body and a warming, intricate, medium-long finish with accents of minerals and lemon pepper. A delicious and pure fruit eau-de-vie.
94 points $39.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Monkey 47
Schwarzwald Dry Gin
Clear color. Delicate, interesting aromas of ginger snaps, key lime pie, cedar spice rack, and yams with a soft, lively, dryish medium-to-full body and a peppery, long honeyed juniper, kumquat marmalade, pine, and mentho-mint finish. A superbly flavorful and versatile with great purity and length.
93 points $44.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
The Bitter Truth
Peach Bitters
On its own nice dried peach, ground nut, and savory soy aromas lead. On the palate, a bit of sarsaparilla and cola emerge. In the Martini cocktail, fresh peach notes appear nicely on the body and finish versus the nose and compliment and amplify the citrus notes of the martini quite deliciously. And if you ever wanted to try a shot of bitters, try this one.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab